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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ranted about this a while ago and never got a solution so I thought I'd try again. My E has the worst FM reception of any car I've ever owned. Most of the FM (including NPR... got to have my NPR) comes out of Roanoke, about 60 miles from here. I can't get doodly squat from Roanoke on my radio. Well, that's an exageration. I'll get a station poorly for 5 seconds, then it's gone. The last time around a few folks said 60 miles is nearly beyond FM capability, but every car I've owned here and everyone I know here can get Roanoke stations. What can I do? Incidentally, my Honda service guy confirms that others have complained about the same thing and then shrugs his shoulders.
:x :?: :x :?: :x :?: :!:
 

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Have you considered installing an aftermarket head unit? Pioneer is known for high quality tuners. The problem you describe may be a limitation of the factory antenna, but I highly doubt it since it is a good design and is powered.

My advice to you would be to take a trip to your local car stereo shop. DO NOT go to a mega store like circuit city, best buy or tweeter) and let them evaluate your reception and offer solutions.

If the reception doesn't get drastically better, then return the stereo and consider antenna alternatives. If you are clear about your need for high quality reception up front then a good audio shop will have no problem with this.

Hope this helps.
 

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I'm glad someone else has the same problem. I was begining to think it was me. The reception is terrible. I switched out the head system an put in an Alpine as reccomended by my local car stereo dealer. It didn't make much difference.
 

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I, too, found that FM reception was less than I expected, compared to our Odyssey and recently departed Caravan & Type R.

I did a little experiment, taking the antenna from the Odyssey and putting it on the Element, while putting the rubber ducky antenna on the Odyssey. With both cars sitting next to each other, the poor reception definitely followed the rubber ducky. Putting the longer quarter-wave whip on the element resulted in much better reception.

While the threads are the same diameter, the threads on the Oddysey whip are too long to use without shortening them. And, of course, there is the height issue to be solved too, but at least it clears the hatch.

So, it looks like the element FM reception can be improved by improving the antenna.

BTW, I don't think adding a booster would help in this case. If the signal is not there, you just end up boosting the noise floor. Plus, isn't the element antenna already amplified?
 

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i have found my e to have better recption than any of my other vehicles.
 

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litespeed9 is right, you can not improve reception by boosting the a poor signal, this only increase the noise floor(is the case of in garbage out more garbage).
The rubber ducky on the Element is roughly 6" in length which mounted at 45 degree back swept, this reduce the 6" antenna mass to maybe 4" of real vertical height.

I have replaced the E's antenna with after market antenna, none of them look good. So I made my own antenna, I work in R&D lab so there are equipments and lathe available to me. :idea:

The result is a 12" alumimun milled to match the contour of the rubber ducky, with accented ring to breakup the boring oversized antenna. :D


I'll post a picture of it.
 

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There is no difference in reception quality whether the antenna is made out of aluminum or steel. The different is which material is easer to work with and the cost and weight of the material.

The reason you don't see aluminum antenna out there because is expensive metal compare to steel, not flexible as steel, oxidation is another inherence problem with aluminum but all weather clear coat takes care of that.

My reception improved dramaticly compared to the rubber ducky.
 

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I think it has mostly to do with length. You may notice that most FM antennae are quite long. Coming from a VW-background, many of my dub-brethren are fanatical about the S2000 antenna, the same "rubber ducky" on the E.

I exchanged the Honda antenna with the VW, and yes, the reception is clearly the fault of the antenna. BTW, the threads are the same. I exchanged it right back. Within city limits it's fine, but any rural travel and reception is suckin'

Find any teenager with a VW and offer your stubby antenna in exchange for their whip and they'll likely jump at it. You may even get decent money on eBay.
 

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Is there a way to disconnect the antenna and hook it up to a front/hood mounted antenna that is 2 feet long? Or how does a 2 foot antenna look sticking out the ducky socket?
 

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Two feet long is too long for the back of the E, it looks silly. Install antenna in front is a possibility but drilling in to body panels just scare me to death.

I have tries several lengths, the best is 12-13" in length, at 16" it start to touch the tail gate, at 2 foot it will touch the tail gate for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks E buddies! I replaced the rubber dorky with a longer antenna and while the reception is still sub-par it is infinitley better than it was. Thanks to y'all I'm back in left-wing heaven with my NPR. :twisted:
 
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